The Council of Elders

Governing power belongs to the Council of Elders, which is composed of prominent members of the six traditional quarters of the village. The Council of Elders selects the Chief of the village and removes him in the case of serious incapacity, or if he proves incompetent in his duties of mediating disputes between villagers. The Council of Elders also has jurisdiction over agriculture, social issues, sanitation, education, etc., and thus serves as the ultimate judge and manages the daily government of the village.

The Chief of the Village

The Chief of the village is traditionally chosen by the Council of Elders from the “royal” Sall family. The Chief serves for life, but in case of incapacity, he is obliged to return his status to the Council of Elders, as the position is not hereditary. The Sarr family organizes the traditional inauguration of the Chief, which is a great ceremony. If there is a dispute over his successor, the chieftainship is turned over to this family until the Council of Elders agrees on the selection of a new Chief. The Chief of the village carries the title “Diagaraph”, and every man of the Sall family carries the title of “Lawahé” or Prince.

The Chief works in concert with the Council of Elders. He represents the village on administrative issues, and can act in its name. The Chief has the right to convoke the Council of Elders, who must respect his summons. He keeps the Great Drum of the village, along with a town crier. The Chief owns great fields of fertile land, and can call upon the work of every villager. He delivers the verdicts of the Council of Elders.